Vandalism-Militancy Relationship: The Influence of Risk Perception and Moral Disengagement

November 2017 (VOL. 35, NO. 3)

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Both risk perception and moral disengagement underpin crisis intensification, and influence risk behaviours. This research, examines whether risk perception and moral disengagement mechanisms influence vandalism and militancy (terrorism), and if these mechanisms can provide alternative strategies for managing unconventional mass emergencies and disasters. This paper will also clarify and discuss the relevance of the concepts: moral disengagement, moral evaluation, and social trust. The influence and implications of risk perception and moral disengagement on crisis management on a case study of the vandalism and militant incidents that have occurred Niger Delta region over the last decade are discussed. Specifically, this investigation demonstrates that there are potential gains in crisis management, when crisis dimensions, morality issues, and risk perception are used to help anchor strategic options during crises. The present study found that people are more likely to disengage from moral conducts when the mechanisms of moral evaluation and disengagement are routinely experienced. In doing so, people become skilled at neutralising morally questionable behaviours and activities such as vandalism.